The winter market will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through April. The market was previously closed at noon, but has been extended due to requests from market-goers and community members.
The Mt. Hope Farm market began as a winter market in November 2011 with the goal of providing local vendors an outlet to sell their goods year round, and giving local residents a community gathering place and the opportunity to support local farmers and producers through the winter months. During the warmer months the market is held outdoors in the farm’s south pasture.
“There are still only a few winter markets in Rhode Island,” said market manager Cassie Tharinger. “This market fills the need for a winter market in the East Bay, and plays a key part in building the local economy and infrastructure in our state.”
Vendors from all over Rhode Island will be offering local vegetables, herbs, fruits, fresh and dried flowers, meats, seafood, eggs, cheese, coffee, honey, bread, pastries, prepared and hot foods, potted flowers and herbs, condiments, granola, soaps, herbal remedies and teas. There will also be live music, demonstrations, kids’ activities, knife-sharpening, clothing and electronics drives and more.
Credit and debit cards are now accepted at the market, and steps toward accepting SNAP and WIC benefits are underway.
“With one full year under our belts, we’ve learned a lot about launching a new market,” said Ms. Tharinger “We are now looking to add to the market, and make it even more of a community hub and gathering place supporting and centered on local food and agriculture. We are incorporating activities and workshops for kids and adults, cooking demonstrations and tastings with local chefs, workshops on food production and preservation, composting education and collection, and much more.”
Mt. Hope Farm is managed by the nonprofit Mt. Hope Trust, and is sited on 127 acres of fields and woodlands stretching down to the shores of the Mt. Hope Bay. Market-goers are encouraged to grab a trail map, explore the farm and tour the historic Governor Bradford House, the circa-1745 inn.
For questions or to be added to the Market News e-mail list, contact Ms. Tharinger at [email protected]